Courtesy Flickr user briweldon

Courtesy Flickr user briweldon

Lars Eller is protesting molesting

MONTREAL—The gloves are off. Montreal Canadiens forward Lars Eller is taking hockey announcer Pierre Houde to court over what he calls “repeated molestation” from the box.

Eller alleges that Houde, who works for French-language company Réseau des sports (RDS), has behaved in a hostile and “intentionally provocative manner,” repeatedly referring to the player as “l’harceleur”—a homophone for the player’s name which means “harasser”—on the air. Eller’s legal council announced that the Canadiens centre expects compensation to the tune of $3M, more than double his annual salary.

The Danish player has been with the Habs for four seasons thus far, and he finally felt it was time to speak out. “It’s just gone too far, you know, people think we hockey dudes only care about cars and pumping iron, but we have feelings, too, damn it! I cried during Old Yeller just like everyone else, man. Back when I only played a few games a year against these guys, it was just s’posed to be a silly joke from one man to another, but I mean now, you sit on your couch like Narcissus to watch replays of yourself and hear it over, and over, and over, maybe two dozen times… the joke’s dead, man, just let it go already.”

RDS declined to comment.

Most players are not entertained by the constant legal battles being fought in the NHL. Ilya Bryzgalov commented: “It’s only a game. Why you heff to be mad? [Houde] is a good guy.” He went on to wish that everyone would just “chill out despite the cold weather.”

Lawsuits involving the NHL, such as this one, are becoming increasingly prevalent. Less than a year ago, former Maple Leafs general manager and raisin-eater Brian Burke filed suit in British Columbia over comments made by users Mowerman and Slobberface on social media sites. In 2010, Coyotes captain Shane Doan filed a countersuit accusing former Liberal MP and current Montreal mayor Denis Coderre of defamation. Coderre put Doan on thin ice when he penned a letter to the Olympic committee in an attempt to prevent Doan, who had allegedly uttered some ethnic insults towards the Quebecois referees, from competing in the 2006 winter Olympics. Doan later authored an apology, saying, “While the remarks may have been unsavoury, properly-prepared frog legs themselves are not. I will not let the ribbiting of some poor quality pea soup spoil the pot. Nevertheless, I rather enjoy a variety of French Canadian foods, even such high-class items as poutine and Molson Ex.” While Coderre and Doan succeeded in settling out of court, only time will tell who gets the penalty box and who gets the power play this time around.

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